Information Architecture User Experience

IA toolkit

Great quote from Dave Gray (hat tip: Austin Kleon)

“Index cards and sticky notes operate like the playing cards, counters and other game components: they make it easy to sort, shuffle, arrange and rearrange information. Flip charts and whiteboards function like playing fields or game boards – they bring logic and order to a space, allowing it to serve as a base for exploring combinatorial possibilities.”

Leadership User Experience

Digital Design Leadership interview with Fresh Tilled Soil


I spent some time in January 2014 talked with Richard Banfield from Fresh Tilled Soil about my experiences and ideas as a digital design leader. It was fun to share. Here’s what came out of that — watch my interview now.

On a side note, I’m a lot thinner now. Must be all that running.

Product Management User Experience

In order to create a truly innovative product

Three things:

  • Study the tasks people use a product for
  • Turn those tasks into a series of steps the person follows to get the task done
  • Finally, start eliminating steps

That’s it. Innovative products eliminate the friction of doing a task.

Source: — Something Really New: Three Simple Steps to Creating Truly Innovative Products, by Denis J. Hauptly

Creativity User Experience

You can’t save your way to innovation

Great post from Allan Cooper

“…if there is something you can do to enhance the creative abilities of your people, it doesn’t really matter how much it costs, or how long it takes. What does matter is if it results in a successful invention, or a compelling design.”


User Experience

Never get wrapped up in “I can’t”

Love this quote (great article too)

One thing I’ve learned over and over is to never get wrapped up in “I can’t“. Instead, I force myself to ask, “How can I accomplish this?” Even if it takes me days or weeks, living and sleeping and working and reading and eating with that question in mind, good solutions eventually come to me. — Nate Kontny

Source: How Draft grew paying customers by 200%

Information Architecture User Experience

The five secrets of innovation

An interesting article about a recently completed six-year study of more than 3,000 executives and 500 innovative entrepreneurs that uncovered the five skills that drive innovation. The five skills are:

Associating: The ability to connect seemingly unrelated questions, problems or ideas from different fields.

Questioning: Innovators constantly ask questions that challenge the common wisdom. They ask “why?”, “why not?” and “what if?”

Observing: Discovery-driven executives scrutinize common phenomena, particularly the behavior of potential customers.

Experimenting: Innovative entrepreneurs actively try out new ideas by creating prototypes and launching pilots.

Networking: innovators go out of their way to meet people with different ideas and perspectives.

The interesting thing about these skills is that they are also common in the design and UX field.

When working with clients I have to connect unrelated concepts and ideas, question common thinking, observe (especially potential customers and users of systems), experiment (always trying new approaches and ideas) and network with others in the UX space.

What do you think — a reasonable set of skills?

Information Architecture User Experience

UX tools

“If you’ve ever interviewed people…you know that beautiful documents and prototypes are meaningless if in the end, they don’t demonstrate good problem solving, and good design decision making. ” @konigi

Career Planning User Experience

A case for mentorship

My latest article, A Case for Mentorship, is now up on UX Magazine. In the article I explore the value of mentorship in the UX space, some of the requirements of being a mentor and some of my lessons learned over the past few years of mentoring. Enjoy.

Creativity User Experience

Great design is tricky

Fantastic quote:

“Great design is tricky. It’s easy to pick apart decisions after an app ships and second-guess its creators. What’s harder — as anyone who has ever created something knows — is being the guy in the room who has to fashion those decisions from whole cloth”

From Dave Wiskus in his article Cheap Magic

Information Architecture User Experience

Agile Vancouver: April 28, 2011

I’ve been on a bit of a push lately to demystify UX. I believe this comes from a frustration with the fact that increasingly I see UX/IxD/UE people (or whatever we call ourselves) becoming protective practitioners of our domain. Whether it’s the use of big words, a lack of involvement across teams or even territorial games — it all keeps others from being more involved in the user experience process — and in the end does little to advance our cause.

On April 28 I’ll be speaking on user experience at Agile Vancouver about how user experience should be part of everyones role in the software development lifecycle. It’s going to be my take a demystifying UX; a chance for others to learn some of the basics of user experience and interaction design; and help them walk away understanding how a few basic principles can help improve not only their products but also help create alignment during requirements development.

Hope you can make it out.